Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett announced that USDA is accepting applications to encourage the use of renewable biomass as an alternative for fossil fuels to operate eligible biorefineries.
Funding is being made available under the Repowering Assistance Program. To be eligible, biorefineries must have been in existence on or before June 18, 2008. This program provides financial incentives to install new systems that use or produce new energy from renewable biomass.
Applications are due July 19, 2018. For more information, see page 17522 of the April 20 Federal Register.
USDA encourages applications that will support recommendations made in the report to the President from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to help improve life in rural America. Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investments in infrastructure, partnerships and innovation. Key strategies include:
• Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America
• Developing the Rural Economy
• Harnessing Technological Innovation
• Supporting a Rural Workforce
• Improving Quality of Life
For fiscal year 2018, USDA is making up to $5 million available for payments through the Repowering Assistance Program. The maximum award is 50 percent of eligible project costs. Examples of projects using the program include ethanol, biodiesel and pellet plants. Applicants should be able to demonstrate significant fossil fuel reductions and a payback of 10 years or less to qualify.